Americans travel to China to help believers

By July 14, 2004

China (MNN) — In China there are two types of churches. The unregistered ‘illegal’ house church movement and the registered ‘legal’ church, the Three Self-Church. Many organizations are helping the underground church, but few are helping the legal church.

That’s exactly what China Partner is doing. In fact, they’ve been helping in China for many years. Today, Erik Burklin and Mike Falkenstine are heading to China to investigate how China Partner can help even more.

“We’re traveling to seven cities in China,” says Falkenstine, “We’re going to be doing a lot of research actually. We’re going to be asking a lot of questions about what the registered churches need, especially in the area of theological education. We’re sensing the needs for training are changing.”

Falkenstine says pastors need to know how to do marriage counseling and other needs. But, he says they need help. “We’re also looking to recruit more both western and Chinese pastors in the west to come with us to China. In 2005, we’re looking at having 13 two week teams that will go with us. We’ll have training teams in China six months out of the year.”

While many believe the registered church is completely controlled by the government, Falkenstine says evangelism is taking place. He says in some registered churches are paralleling anything you’d see in churches in the west. He says a church he attended recently even gave an invitation at the end of the service and more than 30 people responded.

Prayer is needed for this trip, says Falkenstine. “Pray that God would allow us to really find out how we can serve the church in China.” Pray also for safety and that a plan of action can be developed from this trip.

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